Family Of Missing Chinese Scholar Makes Emotional Plea

CHICAGO (CBS) — The FBI believes that Yingying Zhang, the missing Chinese scholar, was kidnapped from the University of Illinois.

They also said that finding the 26-year-old is a national priority for the agency.

Her family made an emotional plea for her safe return Saturday evening during a prayer ceremony in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. The Zhang’s said they will stay in the U.S. as long as needed, with her dad adding that he is not leaving the country without her.

Ronggao Zhang also made a new deal with the person who kidnapped his daughter. “As long as you let my daughter go home, I will not go after you for anything.”

Zhang disappeared the afternoon of June 9. She was getting off a bus to head to an apartment complex to sign a lease, according to her friends. On that same day, she was last seen on a surveillance video getting into a black Saturn at Clark and Goodwin in Urbana. FBI agents say the driver of the SUV appeared to be a white man who circled the area before making contact with Zhang.

On Saturday, her family said they have gotten few answers.

“It has been 15 days. they are hoping and expecting a little bit of news — something. Even just a little bit. But there hasn’t been anything given to them,” said Tina Chu, of the Chinese American Museum of Chicago.

Zhang arrived at the University of Illinois in downstate Urbana in April to study science.

There is a $50,000 reward for information leading to Zhang.

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